Monday, February 20, 2017

“Mom, is that you?”

Barred owl, photo taken February 16, 2017. Click on image for HI-rez view.

Last Friday morning at 8:35, Andrea had a photo of an owl show up in her Facebook chat box (see above). The text under the image asked, “Andrea, this owl is on my deck. Do you think it might be injured?”

The message was from Andrea’s friend Suzanne. I was sitting nearby and she showed me the picture. My sense was that it looked fine. Andrea replied and asked when it showed up.

What then took place was a real time back and forth dialogue about the owl right out her window. Suzanne told us over Facebook that her mother had recently died, and that: “Today is my Mom’s birthday.” She had been crying earlier that morning, still grieving over the loss. Her mom had always been a good listener and she desperately wanted to talk to her.

She sat down and took some time to meditate after crying. Her intention was to process her feelings of confusion and loss. It was right when opening her eyes after meditating that she first saw the owl. She remarked that the way the window was lined up she would not have noticed it if she was seated even just a few inches off to either side. Her immediate thought was, “Mom, is that you?

She tapped on the window and the owl slowly turned its head, its eyes wide open and staring at her. It was at this point that she took the photo (above) and sent it to Andrea.

Suzanne wrote, “So gorgeous… Never seen one so close.”

I was getting the play-by-play as Andrea read each of the incoming messages. When I heard that Suzanne’s mother had recently died I immediately blurted out, “Talk to the owl as if it is your Mom.” My comment was because of all the accounts I'd collected of people talking to owls after a loved one (most often a parent) had passed. 

Suzanne couldn't get out onto the deck because of deep snow, so she opened the window to talk, “It looked at me for several minutes with those eyes and then flew into a tree. Has to be her.”

The owl had sat on the deck chair for about an hour, and then spent about five minutes in a pine tree close to the house. She said this short time felt endless. 

In a follow up phone conversation I asked Suzanne her thoughts on the owl. She said that before noticing the owl she felt alone and despondent. Since the sighting, “I just felt an amazing connection, I don’t feel alone.” 

For the whole rest of that day she felt like crying, “It was so moving, but I wasn’t grieving. The tears are not of despair.”

She had lived in that house for over eight years, and never once seen an owl. 

Her mom would have been 95 years old on the day of this owl sighting, February 17, 2017. If you leave out the zero, the calendar date repeats itself in the year, 2/17 is 2017. 

Suzanne is a psychotherapist, and like so many of the other people who have described similar owl experiences, she is trained in Reiki.

A few days after the owl sighting on her back deck, Suzanne said this, “I am convinced that the visit was also a message to me to take care of business. The business of letting go ... and to commit to my work and my purpose here. Even if it means facing down the loneliness for the time being. But I am not alone. The owl did not seem to leave the yard. I believe it is still around my home.”

I am indebted to all the people who have shared their stories with me. I realize that I've become a sort of archivist for people's personal exerinces. There is a responsibility to do more than just catalog these accounts and tuck them away in file cabinets. There is a need to share. My hope is that the people who find these little reports will end up being just a little more open to the deeper aspects of our reality.                        
—Mike Clelland.